09/01/2005 Thursday morning 8:30AM-10:00AM
Sam stood outside Nick's room looking in from her spot at the window and watching her mother as she lay next to Nick. Catherine, Sara and Greg had come straight from their shift to check on Nick and were surprised to see that Reilly had been allowed to remain in the room with Nick. Jillian and Bill were visiting with Brass and Grissom and Warrick had stopped at home to check in with his wife Tina before coming in to see Nick.
Soon the rest of Nick's family would be here and they were all hoping for some good news. The doctors had been excited when early that morning they could see that Nick, while still running a slight fever, he was breathing much better. They had removed the tube from his throat taking him off the ventilator and they hoped to be able to move him to a private room by tomorrow. They all just needed Nick to wake up.
Sam felt the tears in her eyes building as she shifted her gaze from the couple in the room to Catherine and Sara who had joined her. "Do you…do you think Nick knows mom's there with him?"
Catherine took Sam in her arms and hugged her as if she were her own daughter. "I know he does."
Sam returned Catherine's hug and after pulling back to wipe the tears from her eyes, she said, "I just… I mean… I just want him to come back… for my mom… she needs someone who won't leave her… she needs Nick."
"Yes and Nick needs her." Sara agreed. "He will wake up."
Nick hadn't woken up. The doctors said his infection was being beaten, his fever was way down and he was now breathing on his own. But he hadn't woken up.
Reilly had gotten up to go to the bathroom and now she was getting back in the bed with Nick determined to remain by his side till he woke up and saw her there.
As she crawled back in the bed careful of his IV lines, Nick slurred, "You have always been a bed hog, woman."
Reilly almost fell out of the bed at the sound of his voice. Nick's eyes were still closed and if she didn't know better, she would have sworn she'd imagined his talking to her. But then he slowly opened his eyes and looked at her. His eyes were a little glassy and his eyelids droopy, but it was Nick. All Nick.
Reilly felt the tears in her eyes welling up as she looked back at him. "It's about time you woke up. I have been waiting for you to get your lazy butt up. Do you know how much trouble you are in mister? You have a lot of explaining…to do." She had tried to make it all the way through her speech before she broke down, but she didn't quite succeed.
Nick slowly smiled and reached out to gently kiss her lips. "I just wanted to enjoy my woman in my bed for as long as possible. And my baby – babies? Did I dream it or did you tell me we're having twins?" He asked, slightly confused. He remembered bit and pieces and really hoped this was true. He remembered her saying one boy and one girl.
"You remember that?" Reilly asked as she reached up and stroked his cheek. "Do you remember anything else?"
"I remember a lot of things. Like I seem to remember that you, always trying to be in control of things, begged me to marry you." He smiled again as his eyelids started to droop.
"Well, you must have brain damage bud, 'cause I would never beg you for anything. I am in control here, science guy, so for the record, I didn't beg…I ordered you to marry me." She said as the tears started to fall.
Nick gently reached up and wiped the tears with his one hand. "I can't remember for sure, but I hope I said yes."
Reilly laughed as she gently moved in closer to him. "You betcha, Mr. Texas-"
"Gotta man up." He finished for her. He kissed her again. "Okay…so I'm just gonna take a little nap before we head down to the Little White Chapel for a quick marriage ceremony if that's okay with you, soon-to-be Mrs. Texas Gotta man up." He leaned his forehead against hers as he felt her tears still falling. Suddenly he pulled back from her his eyes flying open. "I just realized something else."
"What?" She asked panicking.
"I've got to repaint the nursery, don't i?" He said, smiling at her.
She laughed. "Yeah, you do, but I think everyone is planning on helping as sort of an apology." She said slyly.
"Apology? For what?" He asked getting worried.
"Well, they have all decided that they are not going to let you out of the lab ever again." She said still laughing. "I mean, I can understand; you seem to attract the most fun cases. But then I have my share too, I guess." She added softly.
"Bring it." Nick said kissing her again. "God help me, Reilly Mallone, but I love you."
"Ditto Nicholas Stokes. Ditto."
AN: I want to thank everyone who provided reviews; they were all great and encouraging. I really had fun with this story and look forward to writing a new one soon! Please do me one more favor and review this last chapter and the book as a whole and let me know what you think. Thank you to all again!
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